"Treat the disease, you win some, you lose some. Treat the patient, you always win."
~Patch Adams~

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Having a 'Purpose in Life' May Help Shield You From Dementia

What is your purpose in life? 

Surprised by the question? Did it make you think (that's what I am aiming for!)  I was fascinated by this article in US News Health.com about research being done on what effect a purposeful life has on the development of and management of Alzheimer's Disease and dementia. 

I think every peri/menopausal woman has wondered at some point in the last few years if she is developing early onset dementia, Alzheimer's, or some other form of cognitive problems. So many doctors just blow off our concerns as "normal part of aging", but in reality it's due to hormonal imbalances.  Bioidentically balancing our hormones helps tremendously!  Our concerns are also raised when we watch parents, older siblings, or friends struggle with memory problems, in my own case, a friend's husband developed frontal temporal dementia about 4 years ago, and passed away at the age of 64 this past winter.  It was heartbreaking to see him decline, and his illness took a huge toll on his family, particularly his wife.  The only upside was that it was a constant reminder to me to keep my brain active and engaged. 

So back to my original question..............what is your purpose in life?  Mine?  Three and a half years ago, when Suzanne Somers appeared twice in two weeks on the Oprah Winfrey Show to talk about biodientcal hormones, she "stirred the pot" and made a lot of women aware that they had other options to deal with menopause than just accept whatever antidepressant or synthetic hormones their doctors were routinely handing out.  I admire her courage in bringing this issue to the attention of so many women, but when I went on the Oprah discussion boards, women had all sorts of questions, and were angry because they were led to believe that only women of wealth could afford this protocol.  That's just not true.  I am blessed to have a doctor who believes bioidentical hormone balance should be available to patients of modest means, and I wanted to "give back" by helping women find hormonal care in their geographic area.  I started this blog as a result.  Some days it's heartbreaking to hear how women are getting screwed over by their healthcare professionals, some days I am frustrated when I get angry emails about how rich people like me can afford medical care but they can't (what a joke that is, I budget hugely carefully and give up a lot of extras to afford my hormonal care), but for the most part, this is one of the most gratifying things I have ever done in my life.  I have helped about 2500 women find hormonal care over the last 3 1/2 years......it's a drop in the bucket and we have a long way to go , but it's a start. 

My other purposes in life?  I'm a good friend to people, and although I went through a rough patch last year with a bullying situation, it ultimately strengthened my real friendships and taught me valuable lessons about people who just are out to use others (guess that's their purpose in life, which is sad, but fortunately they are no longer part of my life).  I'm very creative, I find great purpose in creating with my hands.  Beading, knitting, a little papercraft, much of what I make I give as gifts and it gives me a great deal of satisfaction. 

I take my quest to get as healthy as possible very seriously and my daily workouts are purposeful.  I almost died in a car accident 20 years ago, and although for many years after that I wasn't taking as good care of myself as I should have been, I now have a healthcare team that believes in me and makes me want to do better. I do because I can. 

Next week, my purpose is to enjoy myself on a few days vacation in CA, combined with a visit to Dr. Carr (my hormone doctor).  If I don't post much next week, you'll know why, I can post with my iPad but I'm not too good at it yet, so be patient with me. Wishing you all a Happy Mother's Day weekend (Mom's rock-----I still miss mine!)